ELON, NC—Joe McGillicuddy was randomly selected for the NCAA drug test last fall. The test revealed devastating news.
Last fall, Joe was one of five Elon student athletes selected to take a drug test. It was nothing out of the ordinary, just routine NCAA testing. However, what the test revealed was anything but ordinary.
Joe's test revealed extremely high levels of testosterone. The levels were so high, it was not even consistent with positive drug testing results. The school trusted that Joe wasn't doping, realizing the levels could point to something more serious. They advised him to get further testing by a doctor.
"I was throwing well, everything was going great, my classes were great. I wasn't worried about something like this," said Joe.
Further testing determined that Joe had testicular cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the average age at the time of diagnosis of testicular cancer is about 33. Joe was 21.
That random drug test found something that was otherwise unnoticed.
Head baseball coach, Mike Kennedy said, "What a blessing because he had zero symptoms. He was going through all our workouts playing at a high level, very advanced in the weight room, very advanced on the field, no symptoms whatsoever and really competing at a high level."
"If we didn't find out when we did, you just can't even imagine the consequences," said Joe.
Since the diagnosis, Joe has been through three cycles of chemotherapy. He beat cancer. Now, he's working out with the baseball team again to get his arm in shape to pitch.
"A lot of times these young guys. They think they're invincible and they can do a lot of things. It just creates a dose of reality," said Coach Kennedy.
Joe has a different outlook on things now. He's dedicated to be an advocate for people who go through similar situations. Joe volunteered at cancer centers near his hometown of Fairfax, VA while he was undergoing treatment.